BBC Introducing Glasto Favourites

Click here for Tom Robinson's favourite performances from the BBC Introducing stage at Glastonbury 2011

There’s a new BBC Music Showcase of my favourite performances from the BBC Introducing stage at Glastonbury 2011 online here. For more details on each artist – plus links to their own websites – see the list below. You can also hear audio of these tracks in my BBC Introducing show this coming Sunday morning from 1-3am.

SPARROW – Secret
The Freshest thing out of Brighton this year, with their gorgeous subtle brand of pop played with immense power. Highlight of their set was the title track of their debut EP SECRET.

When you think of bands based around keyboards you usually think piano botherers like Keane or electro futurists such as Depeche Mode. What you don’t think of is all-out the sledgehammer garage rock attack of Plymouth’s PJPB (as we must learn to call them)  who tore up the Introducing stage with their Stooges-inspired epic “American Lover”.

DIONNE REID – Daddy Dear
We first encountered Dionne as a 100% Homegrown Download from DJ Target at 1Xtra, but on the Glasto introducing stage she was a natural star radiating both warmth and serious commitment – backed by a band of young, first rate musicians. “Daddy Dear” is from her EP Rock Paper Scissors

FEVER FEVER- Bloodless
Jen Long on Radio One and Steve Lamacq on 6 Music both picked tracks from the turbocharged set that Ellie, Rosie, Smit played on the BBC Introducing stage and if you watch this video you’ll see why. They’ve been supported since day one by BBC Introducing in Norfolk and play the Outside:Inside Pop-up Festival, in Reading next Saturday (July 9)

SPOTLIGHT KID – Forget Yourself In Me
Bandleader CHRIS DAVIS was of course formerly the drummer with Nottingham legends 6×7 and though he clearly enjoyed making the first Spotlight Kid album entirely on his own, he’s now expanded to a lineup of fine players and musicians and returned to propelling the whole thing along from back behind the kit.

Ed simply smashed it. His six years of slog as an indie artist, posting videos to YouTube and playing endless, endless gigs culminated in June 2011 with a number three debut single just before he appeared on the BBC Introducing stage. His set was an object lesson in how to communicate with an audience. Not to mention, how to write songs, how to play gutar, how to use a loopstation, and how rap articulate, heartfelt lyrics at machinegun speed. Not for nothing was he the Number One Most Shared artist on the whole BBC Glastonbury site within three days. Like I say, Ed smashed it.

FUTURE HISTORY – Once in A Lifetime
We fell in love with this Peckham duo’s  sharp hilarious studio single Money Cash Now, but live this was the track that carried all the yearning and emotional punch. Bluzey and Swift-Lee emailed us this week: “We really appreciate the way BBC Introducing has been supporting us. Not only was it the biggest gig of our lives to date, it was the best show we have put on! The whole weekend was such a great experience and opened our eyes to so many things. Glastonbury has to be one of the best – if not THE best – moment in our lives.”

RAMS’ POCKET RADIO – Dieter Rams Has Got the Pocket Radio
From Lisburn in Northern Ireland this is another keyboard-led band, again fronted with great charisma and huge energy by Peter McCauley at the piano. Like Chris Davis with Spotlight Kid, Peter played everything on the Rams Pocket Radio debut album including the drums. The band is named for  Dieter Rams –  a 1950’s product designer whose work was exemplified – you may remember – by purity, simplicity and longevity. They’re playing the Prince Albert in Brighton this Tuesday (July 5).

A band that need almost no introducing to regular listeners to my Fresh On The Net shows. Wonderful pin-sharp musicianship from Wylam, just outside Newcastle and songwriting that’s clever without ever becoming “clever-celever”. The freshness and sheer elan of their performances win me over every time. This song Koala comes out as a single on July 18th.

STORNOWAY – Watching Birds/Fuel Up
When my show BBC Introducing: Fresh On The Net first started in late 2007 we gave a new fivew piece band their first national radio play, following strong local support from BBC Introducing In Oxford. They dropped by our stage at Glasto last weekend as unannounced Special Guests by way of giving something back to BBC Introducing… Both these songs are on their debut album BEACHCOMBER’S WINDOWSILL.

THE TRUTH – I Make ‘Em Say
The Truth who are not only sharp and hugely ambitious performers, but behind the frontmen, the backing band was perhaps the tightest and classiest I heard all weekend with a wonderful drummer. Huge thanks to Bobby Friction at Asian Network for tipping them to us.

I’ve loved Tyneside’s SHARKS TOOK THE REST from the moment their melodic grownup pop music first came out way. This is the lead track on their debut  EP “Grounds for Hearts To Swell” – heartmeltingly lovely, subtle and warm.

The Belfast trio of Alan, Lisa & Steve were augmented by their mate John on second guitar on their storming single “Le Mans”. Hot news: they’ve just been added to the R1 playlist.

Classy surf rock from Margate, hometown to both Tracey Emin and the new Turner Contemporary Gallery. Everyone from Steve Lamacq to The Drums loves them – listen and marvel.

WORSHIP – The Midnight Run
The Newbury 4-piece Worship were first recommended to us by Jenny Minard from BBC Berkshire Introducing. They were founded by the bassplayer from the astoundingly great Godwits – also BBC Introducing favourites. Worship have played for Rob Da Bank on R1 and at Bestival, and they recorded their debut album in Norway then released it as a free download last Aug.

Have you ever heard dubstep played live ? Not just some DJ/producer turning up with a laptop and hitting “play” but actually performed without a backing track by a real drummer and bass player – plus  a sprinling of turntable and sampler noises sprinkled over the vocals? The Foot Clan’s music isn’t an easy listen but it’s a surprising and rewarding one. Needless to say they’ve been championed by Alan Raw’s BBC Introducing show in their hometown of leeds as well as by Huw on Radio 1.

SHAMMI PITHIA & FLUX (feat. ASH KING) – Until I Hit The Ground
Dubbed “A Nitin Sawhney for the new century” by Bobby Friction, British Asian composer and producer Shammi Pithia is based in East London and performed for us with his 11 piece band Flux.  The lineup includes Asian music legend ASH KING, who sang a rare guest vocal in English on this track . Shammi and Flux play the Purcell Room on London’s South Bank on Sunday July 26th previewing his new EP PAREDOLIA which is released the following day on Monday July 27th.

VESSELS – Ornafires
Our closing performance on this year’s Glastonbury Introducing Stage was by the Leeds band Vessels – with all the elemental power of a hurricane, sweeping all before it and whipping the audience into a frenzy. If there was any justice in the world they would have been the closing act on one of the main stages this year and, who knows, maybe in 2013 they will be.

TRISTRAM – The Griffin And The Minor Canon
PS: an honourable mention must go to Tristram who had an early slot on the Sunday afternoon on the Introducing stage that wasn’t even scheduled for recording. But after hearing them soundcheck, our engineers hit the red button anyway and captured a stunning performance by one of the most original and intelligent acts of the weekend. You can hear The Griffin And The Minor Canon here.

For more great music tips, follow my colleague at BBC Wales Bethan Elfyn

Tom Robinson

London-based broadcaster & songwriter, born 1950. His best known songs are 2-4-6-8 Motorway, Glad To Be Gay and War Baby; he has also co-written songs with Peter Gabriel, Elton John, Dan Hartman and Manu Katché. Read More...

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